Because there are approximately 440 different shark species found throughout our planet, we as ocean lovers and marine biologists have to come up with ways in order to differentiate between them all. There are many ways to go about this, but perhaps the most common method for classification deals with the shark’s appearance (head shape, jaw structure, color, etc.). As a result, we have given certain shark species a name from another member of the animal kingdom, such as the leopard shark, or the bull shark. Today, we are going to go over the tiger shark, a shark species that is not to be trifled with.
The tiger shark is a large fish that is infamous for its aggressive behavior and tendencies. Because of these qualities, the tiger shark has been linked to many unfortunate accidents throughout the years. As lovers of sharks, our team at SharkSider has decided to provide you with some facts about tiger sharks, in order for you to be able to identify this type of shark and be aware of its behavior.
As you might’ve guessed, the tiger shark gets its name from the tiger-striped markings that it has all over its body. However, these spots seem to disappear as the tiger shark begins to reach adulthood; growing to about 3 meters in length. Instead of having stripes, adult tiger sharks are blue-green/dark grey in color, with a white to yellow underbelly to complement it. It’s a little unfortunate that we don’t get to see those stripes on an adult tiger shark, but at least they are present on the pups (baby sharks).
How Big Do They Get?
Our list of facts about tiger sharks wouldn’t be complete without a statistic regarding their size. Tiger sharks are actually the fourth largest shark out there in the world! They average around 3-4.25 meters in length and can weigh anywhere between 385-650 kilograms. If you aren’t too familiar with the metric system, 650 kilograms comes out to about 1,500 pounds! That’s one bug fish! It makes sense too, since these fish are in fact, apex predators of the sea!
They Aren’t Picky Eaters
We will continue our facts about tiger sharks by going over something that is related to their size; their appetite! Tiger sharks are also famous for their diverse selection of food that they will ingest. In fact, their nickname amongst their peers is the “wastebasket of the sea.” With a nickname like that, it must mean that no piece of food is deemed unappealing to a tiger shark.
These scavengers will eat stingrays, dolphins, seals, squids, turtles, crabs, mammals, sea birds, and even other sharks if necessary. Their selection of food doesn’t stop there. Tiger sharks will also consume man-made objects and various pieces of human garbage, including bottles, pieces of boat, and even weathered tires. This wide range of food choices is by far the most abundant compared to other shark species out there in the world.
Where Do They Live?
The last of our facts about tiger sharks deals with their habitat. Tiger sharks are known to inhabit coastal and pelagic (open sea) waters that can be 350 meters deep. They are known to prefer murky waters within the coastal areas, but will frequent coral reefs and lagoons as well. On top of all of this, tiger sharks are also known to migrate seasonally, moving to temperate waters during the summer, and returning to tropical waters during the winter months.
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Hopefully, our facts about tiger sharks will give you a better understanding on how these fish behave throughout the world. There are more facts about tiger sharks, and other wondrous shark species at our website.